Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...


"He ain't heavy, he's my brother!"

I asked Scott to pray for me. I felt overwhelmed by the burdens I'd been carrying, and I was desperate for prayer. Those burdens weren't necessarily from the trials of my own journey, but from others I knew, or knew of. It seemed like all at once, I was brought again and again to a place of pain and suffering. A young girl dead, another one on her way there, perhaps wondering if it would be better to already be dead. Friends leaving in the dead of night, hoping that their loved ones would live to see the morning. Other friends not knowing if their lives had meaning any more, doubting their ability to go on. *Sigh*...I told Scott I didn't know how to handle all these burdens. As busy as he's been, I knew he'd pray. More importantly, I knew he cared. All during Dorm Meeting last night, I felt like God was emptying me. I'd been holding on, unable to let go of the hurts that others were going through. Weep with those who weep...bear one another's burdens...weep with those who weep...bear one another's burdens. Yes, I must weep. Yes, I must bear burdens. But how? In Christ.

When I told Jared of the state of my heart, he shared with me what he'd been learning about contentment. Contentment? What does that have to do with suffering, with bearing one another's burdens? Everything. He read to me a prayer on contentment from The Valley of Vision. What struck him was how little the prayer asked for contentment in what we physically have, but rather for contentment in the fact that although we deserve our suffering, we still have unblushing promises in Christ that far exceed our present circumstances. Wow. Whoever prayed that prayer started first from the perspective of his sins, knowing he deserved his current state. It's a totally different way of thinking than what we're taught; the prayer approaches contentment from the perspective of the penitent sinner knowing he's sinful, and knowing that his punishment is just in the Lord's sight. Only then, when he has gazed upon the depths of his sin in the pure and piercing light of God's holiness, only then does he dare look toward the comfort of Christ. I shudder to think of how often I cheaply gain a shallow view of God's grace by glancing quickly upon the horrors of my sins. *Sigh*...far too often.

Now while I am still burdened by the pains of those around me, I am reminded of two things. First, that these burdens aren't really mine to bear, they are Christ's. Second, that the pains we go through are, in a sense, a sweet reminder that we are saved from far, far worse, and are freely given far, far better. How? In Christ. What does this mean for those whose burdens I bear? Well, I won't tell them that they deserve far worse, rest assured of that. What I will do, however, is bear their burdens as best I may, by the grace of God through Christ. And perhaps now it will not be a burden, but a strangely sweet joy as I lay down before the throne of grace and plead with our Father for yet more mercy upon our brothers and sisters, asking that He would draw them nigh as well.

posted by Bolo | 4:39 PM
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